Rampage name head coach, renew affiliation

Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) announced on Tuesday that it has signed a new, multi-year affiliation agreement between their San Antonio-based American Hockey League franchise, the San Antonio Rampage, and the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League.

The Coyotes also announced that Greg Ireland has been named the new head coach of the Rampage. The Coyotes and the Rampage will enter their third year as affiliated partners in 2007-08.

Ireland, 41, enters his fourth season as head coach of an AHL team. Ireland was the Grand Rapids Griffins’ head coach from 2005-07 and a member of their coaching staff since 2003. Promoted from assistant coach in February 2005, Ireland compiled a 109-65-8-10 cumulative record and a playoff mark of 11-12 at the Griffins helm. In his two and a half years as head coach, Ireland led the Griffins to back-to-back playoff appearances, including guiding the team to a league-best 55 wins and 115 points in 2005-06 en route to capturing the AHL’s Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (AHL’s regular season champions).

As an assistant with Grand Rapids during the 2003-04 season, Ireland helped construct a defense that allowed a franchise-low 166 goals, placing fourth in the AHL at just 2.08 per game. Ireland’s first AHL experience came late in the 2002-03 season, when he joined Hamilton as an assistant coach and helped the Bulldogs to the Calder Cup Finals.

“We are glad to be renewing our agreement with the Phoenix Coyotes, especially since Don Maloney has recently been hired as their general manager,” said SS&E executive vice president Rick Pych. “Don has a long history of establishing winning teams based on a philosophy of developing young players at the AHL level. We share the Coyotes philosophy that creating a long-term winner starts here in San Antonio.”

Maloney and Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving will make all decisions related to hockey operations for the Rampage. The Coyotes will provide the Rampage with all of the team’s players as well as the head coach and assistant coach.

Last season, top Coyotes’ prospects such as Bill Thomas, Keith Yandle, David LeNeveu, Matt Jones and Travis Roche spent time with both the Coyotes and Rampage.